Philippians 3:10-14 (NIV)

10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.  

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.     

John 15:5 (NIV)

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.   

DEVOTION – Bill Willis (New South Wales, Australia)

I enjoy watching track and field events.  Especially exciting for me are the races: the tension of waiting for the starting gun, the sight of each runner straining toward the finish line.  It is satisfying to cheer for the winners as they stand to receive their rewards.  We also cheer for the athletes who record a personal best time, even if they did not win.  We celebrate, with them as they realize they have done better than ever before.

Similarly, in our Christian discipleship, we can aspire to serve God more fully each day.  As we live in fellowship with our Lord, we an strive to make each day our personal best for him.  After all, Jesus speaks of our living in him, becoming branches of his vine, drawing nourishment from him and producing lasting fruit.  We can bring all our energies to bear as we run toward the goal of becoming truly one with Jesus.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Today I will give my personal best for God.

PRAYER: Gracious God, help us this day to do our very best for you.  Amen.